Welcome to the Grove Virtual PA blog. If you’ve linked to this blog via my main website, you would have already seen my brief introduction. This post tells you a bit more about me and my work-life background.
I decided to become a virtual assistant after a period of contemplation and desire for a slightly new direction. I’ve been in PA/secretarial roles for over 25 years, and whilst many would think that was a long time doing the same thing, I thoroughly enjoy the work!
I’ve worked in a few industries. Insurance loss adjusting in the subsidence department, handling insurance claims and working with building surveyors and chartered structural engineers for five years. I have also worked for a PVC-u building products manufacturer for the sales and marketing director and his management team for six years, and in the quarrying industry for 16 years, working for various regional executives in operations and commercial departments.
Grove Virtual PA is owned and operated by me from my study in Downswood in Maidstone, Kent. I wanted to develop a service where I could help individuals, solopreneurs and small businesses remotely, so I do all the work from my own premises. Working this way gives my clients so many benefits; they don’t have the costs associated with having an employee, so by outsourcing their admin to me, they only pay for my time, not my national insurance, sickness, holiday pay, etc. Anyone can book me and I have a scale of rates that benefit the one-off client and the more frequent client. So, if there are clients who know that they will need to book me for a bunch of hours each month, they will benefit from a reduced retainer fee. The retainer fees are scaled by a set minimum number of hours and clients need to use up the hours within the period stated. Otherwise, I can give package rates where there is a set amount of tasks to be done, or if clients are looking for me to do work relating to social media, web design, etc. My fees are based on my time and expertise, and are competitive within the UK virtual assistant industry today. I am happy to work with charities and not-for-profit organisations and I price their work on a separate tariff when they contact me.
Throughout my career I have enjoyed working with various personalities. It’s not all about having the extra pair of hands; not everyone knows how to get the desired result and not everyone has the technical know-how. Many times, the tasks are not computerised. Helping someone write a message in their own voice, but ensuring the grammar is correct, is as equally satisfying. Not everyone is an expert at writing. I’m not saying that I’m an expert either! I’ve been given numerous proof reading and copy-editing tasks during my time, I’d become the go-to girl for final proofing before a letter or e-mail or presentation!
I’m quite a creative person in my spare time. I create handmade cards for friends and family, prior to that I used to sell them on eBay, Folksy and Etsy and I would be happy to discuss how I could help crafters with their admin. I still do sell batches of cards now and again, but my preferred craft these days is paper cutting. I have always played with graphic designing, for creating graphics to put on my cards, creating my shop logos and banners, etc. After purchasing my Cricut Explore 2 cutting machine, I knew there was an opportunity to expand my graphic designing hobby. After getting to grips with the new paper cutting skills, I got a bit carried away and ended up creating over 300 SVG paper cutting templates! I knew that I could try to sell them to fellow crafters. After sending a few samples to Craftsuprint, I was accepted as a designer and I now sell them exclusively through their website. You can find my products on my designer homepage here.
Aside from crafting, I have varied interests in spirituality and I love to write inspirational quotes. There was a period in my life when other family members were going through a tough patch and I felt compelled to write down my feelings. We all felt the emotional pressure at that time. My writing began to get more poetic and I wanted to start to share what I was writing as it was comforting me, so I thought may be it could also comfort others. After following a few Facebook pages that shared memes containing inspirational and positive quotes, I created A Trail of White Feathers. I wasn’t sure if it would be a success, but I decided to give it a go anyway. After a while, I started to get some interest and then some followers and discovered a community of like-minded people. I have been running my Facebook page for four years now, and I still write and share memes as and when I can. I do offer a meme design service suitable for branding with your logo for you to share on social media. For an idea of what I can do, you can find a selection of my memes at the foot of my About page here.
If you are looking for help with your admin, you can contact me through my Contact page, or alternatively, call me on 07470 169718.